Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of James Nayler > Volume 2








"My joy I would not change for all the parsonages
in the world"

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Editor's Introduction

     This volume—the second of a planned four-volume set—contains mostly writings published in 1655. James Nayler was much engaged in controversy during this year: more than half of the Nayler papers in the volume are replies to the attacks of opponents. In the majority of these cases we have included the paper being answered, as well as Nayler's reply, to more clearly convey what the disputes were about. Even those papers which were not part of a specific "pamphlet war" are highly polemical in tone and content: that was the nature of Quakerism in this era.

     In the collection of Letters are included several letters of earlier date which were not available in time for Volume I, as well as several 1655 letters. Most of the letters have not been previously published. I am very much indebted to Diana Morrison-Smith for transcribing several letters from manuscripts housed at the Friends House library in London. Other letters were transcribed from the Swarthmore Manuscripts by Larry Kuenning and me, using copies from microfilm, some printed by Larry at Haverford College Library and some printed by Raymond Ayoub at Penn State Library.

     David Neelon has again been very helpful in obtaining for me photocopies of several pamphlets from microfilm at Cleveland Public Library; others have been provided by the librarians at Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges.

<iv>     Thanks are again due to Rosemary Moore for her availability as a consultant and her excellent bibliography, which is the source of many of the Thomason dates noted for these writings.

     As in Volume I, I have compared the early printings of these pamphlets with the 1716 collection of Nayler's writings edited by George Whitehead, for those items that Whitehead included, and have footnoted changes that might affect the meaning. I have again found that Whitehead is much more interested in improving the clarity of the syntax and avoiding possible misunderstandings than in changing any doctrine. A possible exception is his replacing "holy flesh" with "holy faith" (p. 72, note v), which may represent a desire to downplay the doctrine of Christ's flesh being manifest in his people, which is found in Quaker writings of the 1650s but mostly drops out after that. The revision on p. 230, note 101, may possibly have a similar purpose.

Licia Kuenning
QHP Editor

     As in Volume 1, footnotes representing the author's notes are numbered with arabic numerals. QHP editor's footnotes are numbered with lower case letters. In a few documents, however, the procedure has been reversed in order to avoid footnote numbers such as "zzzz."

     A date preceding a note of a textual variant means that the variant wording is found in an edition of that date.

     In this online edition, the page numbering of the print edition has been inserted in <angle brackets>. If a word was hyphenated across pages, the page number has been placed either before or after it.

Abbreviations used in Notes

EQL: Geoffrey F. Nuttall (ed.), Early Quaker Letters from the Swarthmore MSS to 1660 (typescript, 1952).

GN date: Date assigned by Geoffrey Nuttall in LJN (below):

LJN: Geoffrey F. Nuttall, "The Letters of James Nayler," in Michael L. Birkel & John W. Newman (eds.), The Lamb's War: Quaker Essays to Honor Hugh Barbour.

Sw. Mss.: Swarthmore Manuscripts.

Whitehead or W.: A Collection of Sundry Books, Epistles and Papers Written by James Nayler (1716), edited by George Whitehead.

Errata in Volume I [print edition]

p. 120. Thomason date at foot of page should read "March 17, 1653/54."

p. 311, line 22. "One prophet prophesies for truth" should be "One prophet prophesies for Baal."